Top 4 Pancake Toppings for Breakfast

Some mornings, pancakes just beg to be a little more interesting than your average syrup and butter topped rounds of deliciousness. Maybe you just want some more recipe ideas to use with your new pancake maker. When that happens, try one of these toppings for an new spin on your breakfast.

Fruit compote

fruit-compoteGrowing up, my mother was big on preservatives, and she did all she could to make sure no two jars were never the same. Of course, this resulted in some unusual combinations of fruits and spices that were rendered pretty useless for the majority of preserved fruit applications, but once in a while one of them turned out to be the perfect fit for some unexpected meal. Case in point, pancakes.

Fruit compote can be made of almost anything you choose, but my personal favorite is wild gooseberries with just-ripe peaches. The fruits are lightly poached together with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg, and then, like traditional jams, preserved in a sugar syrup (my mother loved to highlight hers with additional spices—try cayenne pepper for an unexpected kick!). The fruit compote is generously served over hot pancakes, (I like to warm mine up to soften the jelly-like consistency if it’s too thick), and it’s nothing short of delicious.

Peanut butter and bananas

peanut-butter-bananas-pancakesIf you’re a peanut butter-phile like I was throughout my entire life, you’ll love this one, and if you don’t use a highly processed variety with an excessive amount of sugar, it can actually be good for you! A half of cup of peanut butter is softened in the oven (though you can use a microwave or stovetop as well) and then drizzled over pancakes and topped with sliced bananas. Think of it as a peanut butter sandwich you can start your day with.

The combination of peanuts and bananas gives your day a huge energy burst (you can thank me later!) Bananas are rich in potassium and vitamin A, and peanuts are high in protein and minerals.

Caramel and melted marshmallows

Here’s one that resulted from kitchen experiences with my siblings on weekends when my parents were away: Caramel and melted marshmallows. Preparing this topping is a sticky mess with a high dish toll, but boy is it worth it. You can use caramel ice cream topping, or melt individual caramel candies over a stove for the caramel, and while it’s still piping hot, pour over a stack of pancakes.

Roast the marshmallows like you would for s’mores, or pop them in the oven or microwave for a few minutes. When swollen and slightly brown, use a spoon to scoop them over the hot caramel and swirl the two together. Can’t say this is good for your health, but it’s certainly good for your sweet tooth.

Mint Jelly

Another favorite born from my mother’s knack from preservatives is mint jelly. It’s an unexpected topping, but it pairs very well with a cup of unsweetened green tea. Just scoop the jelly over the pancakes, top with a few sprigs of mint for a gourmet touch, and enjoy! It’s extremely delicious.

10 Fun Pancake Ideas

Here are some fun ideas to take pancakes out of the ordinary.

strawberry1. Start Healthy

Instead of using white flour, use whole wheat flour. Add in corn meal and/or oats. Adding milk also adds nutrition. For those with gluten intolerance, use one of the gluten-free flours now available on store shelves.

2. Fruit

Instead of adding sugar with maple or other pancake syrups, many of which have added ingredients, cut up a selection of fruit. Use apples, berries, bananas and other options the family enjoys. Top healthy pancakes with fruit.

pancake-star3. Shapes

No matter how good the food, kids often bulk at eating. Get them interested in eating those pancakes by creating them in interesting shapes. Use your imagination or over sized cookie shapes to create fun shapes. For example, a larger pancake represents a face. Smaller pancake rounds add ears. Create the rest of the face with fruit and nuts.

4. Cakes

Who doesn’t like cake? Stack pancakes with whipped topping between layers. Frost the entire stack with whipped topping and add cake decorations for a special “cake” pancake that draws the family–especially the children–to the table.

christmas-pancakes5. Holiday Themes

Create pancakes that reflect the holidays. Christmas pancakes can be shaped like a tree or a present. Add red and green decorations, fruit or color the batter. Sweeten a cranberry sauce and use for syrup. On Valentine’s Day create a heart and decorate with red frosting or cover with chocolate. Stripe a flag for July 4th.

6. Celebrations

Other celebrations also deserve special pancakes–anniversaries, graduations, birthdays. Create a birthday pancake with the child’s name and birthday. You can even add a real candle to the center of a deep pancake.

pancake-kids7. Kids

Kids will more likely consume what they helped prepare. Bring them into the kitchen. Get their input into what they’d like in and on their pancakes. Show them how to make them.

8. Educate

Some kids have a rough time learning the basics. Make learning fun by creating pancakes in letter or number shapes. Show them how to make words with the pancakes. You can also draw shapes, letters or numbers on the pancakes with raisins, fruit or nuts.

peanut-butter-pancakes9. More than Breakfast

Add a filling, like peanut butter, to a pancake. Roll it up and add it to a lunch box for a nutritious mid-day meal.

10. Dessert

Create small pancakes and top them with frosting and candy. Use as a dessert.